Do you ever eat and then like an hour later you’re like “I can’t possibly be hungry again?!” Within the practice of Intuitive Eating, we innately trust our bodies and honour our hunger…if we’re hungry, we eat. And, we also recognize that our body’s signals, hunger included, are also an opportunity to get curious. Because eating every hour on the hour isn’t generally very realistic for (real) life. So, rather than judge, we simply put on our anthropologist hats (curious non-judgemental observer) and ask some questions…
- Why are you hungry so soon after you ate?
- Have you had a particularly active day (today or yesterday)?
- Did you eat enough yesterday/ earlier in the day to meet your nutritional needs?
- Have you eaten enough today? If this ravenous hunger often shows up late in the day it might be Primal Hunger!
- Is there something about what you ate last that wasn’t sustainable?
If you determine that you would like your meals and snacks to be more long lasting, consider using the strategy of S2!
The strategy of S2
There are many reasons you might be hungry again in a shorter than expected window of time. But if you’ve honed in on the primary factor being what you ate last not quite cutting the mustard, then consider this when you’re building your meals and snacks.
Aim to have each meal and snack check the boxes on Staying Power and Satisfaction. If your meals are both Satisfying and have Staying Power you’re far more likely to find they Sustain your energy (see what I did there?!)
Staying Power of meals and snacks is all about finding the mix of protein, fats, and fibre that really work for your (awesome) body and your energy needs. It’s something we discuss when we explore the Intuitive Eating Principle of Gentle Nutrition.
What are Protein, fats and fibre?
- Protein: these might be animal-based (meats, fish, poultry, eggs, cheeses, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.) or plant-based (ex. nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh, beans + legumes, edamame, plant-based “meats,” etc.)
- Fats: nut and seed butters, salad dressings, dips (hummus, tzatziki, veggie dips), fats might also accompany protein (ex. nuts, seeds, dairy, etc.)
- Fibre: consider how you can incorporate veggies, fruits and whole grains to your meals and snacks to boost the staying power.
Why do these components add Staying Power?
Because they have more caloric content/ nutrient density (proteins and fats) and they slow digestion down (fibre), which keeps you feeling satisfied for longer!
Important note: There is nothing wrong with simple ingredients that aren’t high in protein, fat, or fibre. All foods fit within an Intuitive Eating approach, this is all about finding what works for you – and your life! For example, white bread is yummy and delicious and a totally valid choice, but whole grain bread will typically hold you longer because of the fibre content. As will a slice of white bread with some peanut butter or some peanut butter and some raspberries on top (because you added protein and fat)!
Staying power in practice
The practice of finding your blend for staying power is different for everyone! Consider this a fun experiment. What happens to the Staying Power of your meals and snacks when you add some protein, fats, and fibre?! Get curious and find the meals and snacks that stick (to you)! What do you typically need before or after activities? How does your menstrual period change things up? The goal is to stay curious and start to notice correllations. Then harness that information to your benefit!
Satisfaction (the hub of Intuitive Eating)
Have you ever finished a meal but then find yourself in the kitchen again shortly thereafter because it wasn’t quite right?! Once again, this could be a variety of things (emotional hunger – boredom, procrastination, soothing, etc.), but the other factor that is often missed is satisfaction!
This is why we call satisfaction the hub of Intuitive Eating – because it’s literally connected to all other 9 principles. When we recognize how powerful satisfaction is, eating in a way that serves you body, mind, and spirit simply gets easier!
When you notice that you’re not feeling truly satiated after meals or snacks, consider how to weave Satisfaction into your meals or snacks! Gentle Nutrition is all about honouring your innate nutritional needs and recognizing that food is more than nutrients! And when we’re truly satisfied by meals they often go a lot longer!
Satisfaction is also unique to you!
Get curious about what factors make a meal or snack satisfying! And keep in mind it’s not just the food choice – it’s also the environment in which you eat the foods!
- What food attributes make it satisfying? Texture, temperature, aroma, flavour, etc.
- What environments make a meal or snack satisfying? Consider the people, places, and things that contribute. Do you sit at a table? What dishes do you use? Do you like silence or music/ conversation? Do you like to eat alone or with others?
- When you ate last, were you mindful and present? This can also contribute to satisfaction! If you’re distracted and not aware of eating, and it’s gone before you know it this can impact your overall perceived satisfaction!
Put S2 into practice!
Next time you find yourself hungry a short time after eating…get curious! Put on that Intuitive Eating anthropologist’s hat and ask some questions. Then tweak and adjust course and see if applying the strategy of S2 helps you!